Arriving in Turks and Caicos for the first time was anything but dull!
From the moment I arrived to Provo, my expectations were blown away! I truly did not know a place so beautiful existed. From the crystal-clear turquoise waters, to the soft sandy beaches, and salty warm air; everywhere I turned there was a moment that took my breath away. Not to mention the amazing Villa Aguaribay we stayed at – I’ve never been to a more luxurious and comfortable vacation villa in my entire life, and I can’t wait to return!
After seeing how incredible Turks and Caicos was on land, I could only imagine how stunning it would be under the sea.
Our team had arranged to do a boat cruise with Big Blue Collective, and I knew snorkeling was part of the adventure! As much as I was excited, I couldn’t help but get a little overwhelmed at the thought of being in open water. I had never been snorkeling before, and I have always had a little fear of the blue mysteries lurking in the ocean.
With that being said, snorkeling was a challenge I decided to face head-on! When we arrived on the boat, we were immediately greeted by its captain and amazing crew! They jumped into a tour, showcasing the graceful lines of their luxury boat, its cabin, and numerous accommodations. I timidly expressed my nervousness and inexperience with snorkeling, and was immediately put at ease with the professionalism and understanding of the Big Blue Collective team. They told me what to expect, and assured me of the measures taken to ensure a safe and relaxing experience.
They could not have been more right. After diving into the crystalline waters, feeling the rush of warm liquid envelop my body, my senses awoke to a whole new turquoise world. Fish swam fleetingly across my vision, corals rose up like pastel castles, and dappled sunlight moved in a mosaic of busy activity. I let go of the chaotic city world I didn’t even know I was holding on to and embraced the new colorful kingdom beneath the waves. I was completely amazed and present in the majesty of the natural seascape I had been so nervous to experience moments before!
After those first few breathtaking moments, I was joined by Marcia, our snorkeling guild. Marcia pointed out colorful schools of fish, beautiful coral communities, and fun games to attempt. One of the most surreal moments was when an 8-foot stingray glided smoothly past us! My heart leapt with, first anxiety, but then joy! Where in my life had I experienced so many new sensations and exciting environments? My mind immediately answered: nowhere else but the Turks and Caicos waters.
For those of you wanting to take a similar leap into turquoise waters, I highly recommend it. Letting go and facing a new challenge was one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences of my life.
If you are a newbie like me, here are some beginning snorkeling tips I learned for a seamless transition from land to ocean:
1. Make sure your goggles and gear are the right size!
If you don’t get the right fit, water can easily leak across your vision as pressure increases beneath the surface. Flipper size is equally important! Having a flipper fall off or feel loose seriously hinders your mobility, and any water acrobatics. If you are with a crew like Big Blue Collective, they will supply you with the proper gear and make sure you’re all sized up. If not, make sure you arrange this in advance so you don’t have to worry about it or feel uncomfortable in the water.
Pro Tip: Invest in your own mask and hose and bring them with you to the island. This way you know the mask fits (and hasn’t been in anyone else’s mouth.)
2. If you have long hair, grab a hair elastic!
You might think mermaid flowing locks would make a cute picture, and it will, but after your photo shoot, tie up your hair to keep it from getting tangled! I learned that if your hair is flowing loosely in the water it can sometimes blind you or be mistaken for something floating in the water from the corner of your eye.
3. Bring a Go-Pro or waterproof cellphone case!
Capturing the moment to share with your friends and loved ones is all part of the exciting experience!
4. Have a partner that you stick with the entire time.
Regardless if you are with a big group or not, make sure that you have one person that you are accountable for and who is accountable for you. This is just to make sure all is good on the water and that no one is getting left behind.
5. Protection from the elements!
Make sure to wear waterproof sunscreen to protect your skin! SPF 50 or above is recommended for snorkeling adventures lasting over 30 minutes. There are wonderful eco-friendly sunscreens to wear that do not harm the delicate sea life with harsh chemicals.
-TC Villas own, Ayla Sorochuk